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Light4210

differences between cheap and expensive electric guitars

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I got some expensive guitars and cheap ones. Both play equaly well.

I think some players get offended by inexpensive / high quality guitars being equal or better than their Big Brands guitars. I recently bought a Rickenbaucker 4003 bass kit  it has 24 frets, no pickguard / rear cavity for electronics and no electronics, so that way I can put in my pickup, pots, caps or any other options I want. 

I don't care what the gear snobs think, it will play and sound just the way I like .... Neverminding, the gear snobs.

 

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Cheap and expensive guitars play equally well? That's not been my experience, but I'm not offended.

Some people love Ford cars. Each to their own. 

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I just ordered a 6 / 12 string double neck guitar kit with 22 frets each. The body is shaped more like a true SG, made of mohagony, neck made of maple with a rosewood fretboard with LPC inlays.

The 6 string will be up on top, I'm going to route out the front for a Floyd Rose recess and a trem cavity in the back and the 12 string will be at the bottom.

It will only come with the pickguards with no pots or any electronics.

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9 hours ago, AJ6stringsting said:

I just ordered a 6 / 12 string double neck guitar kit with 22 frets each. The body is shaped more like a true SG, made of mohagony, neck made of maple with a rosewood fretboard with LPC inlays.

The 6 string will be up on top, I'm going to route out the front for a Floyd Rose recess and a trem cavity in the back and the 12 string will be at the bottom.

It will only come with the pickguards with no pots or any electronics.

Should be an awesome project and fun to play.

Hope you post pics (if anyone is still here to see them)

I put together a partscaster in Still Scheming thread and ,as you said, learned a few things for the next time  

And if we talk cheap guitars, cheap is what mine was all about 

Edited by gardo
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Cheap guitars are made of cheaper materials than more expensive ones. Cheaper guitars use plywood bodies. More expensive guitars are made of more expensive solid woods like rosewood and mahogany. Cheaper guitars also have cheaper paints, lacquers, and finishes...

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Edited by arsomartinera

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2 minutes ago, arsomartinera said:

Cheap guitars are made of cheaper materials than more expensive ones. Cheaper guitars use plywood bodies. More expensive guitars are made of more expensive solid woods like rosewood and mahogany. Cheaper guitars also have cheaper paints, lacquers, and finishes...

Yet my cheap Squier Affinity Tele has a body of solid alder . The fret work on the solid maple neck was great too

The electronics were the cheap part 

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2 hours ago, gardo said:

The electronics were the cheap part 

I have not seen an electric guitar with a plywood body in decades; I have not a seen a plywood acoustic either, but I shy away from anything under $400. Basswood is a reliable tonewood and plentiful in Asia, apparently. Where they cut the corners is the tuners, bridge, pots, switches and p-up...and strings.

Which is most unfortunate, because they could make those upgrades fairly inexpensively if buying those components in volume, but their typical edict is 'spend less, build more', which is what killed my fledgling guitar company [factory in China] a decade ago, because no matter how I tried to demonstrate the ability to buy better parts at essentially the same cost [within pennies/renminbi], for a far better product [sound, feel, longevity], but because they are born and raised as communists, intrinsic value has virtually no meaning to them in business. 

To them a screw is a screw, a tuner is a tuner, just get the cheapest priced one, today.  Don't buy on long term. Concepts like 'best cost producer' means nothing to them because labor is dead cheap [although it will not be for much longer as capitalism makes inroads] and they pay no benefits on their labor costs*. Also, their 'overhead' and G&A is calculated far differently than in the Western nations.  When they try to bring their style of business to the US, they FAIL, because they really have no idea how a real, well regulated**, heavily taxed, employee-benefit-paying business works.

*although, I will say, many Chinese factories have on-site 'barracks' for the unmarried employees; I'm sure they do not provide that for free, but it is rather convenient.

** I have received no less that two shipments where the factory put roof tiles [!] in our shipments to cover up the fact they did not meet the expected gross weight for the shipment...I mean, really? Ceramic roof tiles... with moss on them! :facepalm:

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26 minutes ago, daddymack said:

I have not seen an electric guitar with a plywood body in decades; I have not a seen a plywood acoustic either, but I shy away from anything under $400. Basswood is a reliable tonewood and plentiful in Asia, apparently. Where they cut the corners is the tuners, bridge, pots, switches and p-up...and strings. . . .

The usual term for "plywood" in acoustic guitars is "laminated," or to use Taylor's word, "layered." Not exactly the same thing but close. The sides of my beater acoustic have grain on the inside that runs at right angles to the grain on the outside. "Laminated" wood is actually fairly common at the low end. Often a guitar will have laminated back and sides and a solid top.

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38 minutes ago, daddymack said:

** I have received no less that two shipments where the factory put roof tiles [!] in our shipments to cover up the fact they did not meet the expected gross weight for the shipment...I mean, really? Ceramic roof tiles... with moss on them! :facepalm:

WHAT ?

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yes...we identified them from pictures my partner had of the factory...and when say I roof tile, these are about two feet long and a foot and a half wide, and an inch thick! 

They were, shall we say, not the most trustworthy people...when I needed neck samples, they would saw them off short , I guess so I couldn't use them for anything else...but they will be part of a large instrument neck mobile/windchime I am planning to make, after I move.

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3 hours ago, daddymack said:

yes...we identified them from pictures my partner had of the factory...and when say I roof tile, these are about two feet long and a foot and a half wide, and an inch thick! 

They were, shall we say, not the most trustworthy people...when I needed neck samples, they would saw them off short , I guess so I couldn't use them for anything else...but they will be part of a large instrument neck mobile/windchime I am planning to make, after I move.

That’s like something from a comedy movie 

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On 10/27/2019 at 10:26 AM, arsomartinera said:

Cheap guitars are made of cheaper materials than more expensive ones. Cheaper guitars use plywood bodies. More expensive guitars are made of more expensive solid woods like rosewood and mahogany. Cheaper guitars also have cheaper paints, lacquers, and finishes...

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The double neck guitar kit I ordered has a mahogany body, maple neck with an ebony fretboard  no hardware except for the plastic pickguard. A few years ago I assembled Randy Rhoads / Jackson copy with a body made of alder  maple neck and with 24 fret reverse Jackson style neck with a rosewood neck .... easily comparable to my 1984 RR / Jackson. 

When I started playing guitar, cheap guitars were made with plywood, plastic tuning keys / plastic inserts and cheap electronic. The new inexpensive guitars ( that you call cheap) are coming with decent tone woods  wax potted pickups and sometimes semi decent electronics. Those ' cheap guitars" have come along way since the late 1970's.

 

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I'm not going to get drawn into the cheap/expensive guitar debate - I like them both.    However I'll make some general observations

- I can buy a pretty darn good guitar, either acoustic or electric, for less money that I can buy the materials to build one.   

- I have been quite impressed by a number of PacRim guitars that I've played or worked on lately.   An absolute stunning Eastman acoustic, a couple of Epis that are light years ahead of the Gibson's they emulate, a very nice Blueridge.   If I was in the market for a factory guitar I would sure be looking overseas.

- I have been singularly unimpressed by some of the domestic guitars I've worked on lately - including Gibsons from both before and after the shakeup.

- Its kind of interesting that right now some very expensive guitars are being built with laminates.   Double sides and backs are increasingly common and double tops (with nomex or other space age materials) are common in high end classicals. 

- one of my favorite acoustic guitars is a tribute to the cheap mahogany Depression era guitars.   I passed it around at a jam the other night - one guy was so impressed he wanted to buy it (I said no) then he asked about commissioning one (I said maybe).   FWIW, he is blind 

- AJ, please do a separate thread when you get your double neck.   There happens to be a guy scratch building one right now at TPDRI that you might be interested in.   I've only worked on one but it was truly the guitar from hell.   Oh, and it was also cheap...

 

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